Porsche is preparing to return four-cylinder power to its sports car line-up for the first time since the 968 ceased production in 1995 in facelifted versions of the third-generation Boxster and second-generation Cayman, both earmarked to make their debut at next year’s Geneva motor show prior to the start of UK sales.
The new turbocharged four-cylinder engine is planned to be used by the Boxster and Cayman in place of the existing naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine in a move that’s set to provide price-leading versions of the roadster and coupé pairing with added performance and reduced fuel consumption.
Details remain scarce less than six months out from its unveiling, although insiders at Porsche’s R&D facility on the outskirts of Stuttgart have revealed that the new turbocharged engine shares its horizontally opposed design and crucial elements of its architecture, including its 500cc individual cylinder capacity, with the larger twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder unit recently unveiled in the facelifted 911.
This indicates that early variants of the new four-cylinder powerplant will likely boast a capacity of around 2.0 litres – some 700cc less than the entry level 2.7-litre six-cylinder currently used by the Boxster and Cayman.
Nothing is official, although the new engine is expected to exceed the 271bhp and 214lb ft outputs of the existing six-cylinder in its initial state of tune, with more heavily tuned variants running added turbocharger boost pressure set for introduction later on, according to sources.
Caught here undergoing final testing ahead of its debut, the facelifted Cayman sports a new front bumper assembly featuring a revised design with altered cooling ducts and indicator units, as well as updated internal headlight graphics.
Further stylistic changes to the two-seat coupé include a revised rear bumper and lightly altered tail-light graphics.
Inside, the 2016 model-year Cayman is expected to adopt a new steering wheel along with an updated Porsche Communication Management system featuring a 7.0in touch screen monitor with Google Earth and Google Street View-supported navigation, WLAN connectivity and Apple CarPlay compatibility.